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Ajf 6

Friendship is pure and holy, like love, it is a kind of "I'm able to you, there are you in me" mutual emotional.

self confidence

Tony Judt's new book is a dying man's sense of a dying idea.

equestrian equipment

Well, you don't have to be religious to love the idea of the common good.

jewish book

I'd like to know what's inside Judt's new book.

Michael Perry

Thanks for the review of Judt's new book, Patrick.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

Another review of Ill Fares the Land: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-rutten22-2010mar22,0,5702961.story

Michael Perry

Thanks very much, Patrick, for the link to the interview with Judt.

About your first comment: Yes, it's always quite perilous to generalize!

Patrick S. O'Donnell

A recent interview with Judt from the London Review of Books:

Patrick S. O'Donnell

Erratum: "One hesitates to criticize Judt...."

Patrick S. O'Donnell

Re: "He criticizes the narcissistic left of the 1960s, which was largely uninterested in social justice. 'What united the ’60s generation was not the interest of all, but the needs and rights of each,' he writes."

One hesitates to critize Judt, but I think he has this wrong, as does Alan Wolfe and others who have become fond of this fashionable canard, which appears to based on an overly whiggish or functionalist view of recent history.

The self-identified Left was in fact quite concerned about social justice. Whatever its other shortcomings, evidence of this concern is found in the Students for a Democratic Society's (SDS) Port Huron Statement as well as in numerous civil rights organizations and is plausibly viewed as a fundamental premise of the Highlander Folk School (and an explict value of today's Highlander Research and Education Center). Think too of the impact of Michael Harrington's The Other America: Poverty in the United States (1962), a work almost singularly responsible for the short-circuited "war on poverty:"

'Among the book’s readers, reputedly, was John F. Kennedy, who in the fall of 1963 began thinking about proposing anti­poverty legislation. After Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon Johnson took up the issue, calling in his 1964 State of the Union address for an “unconditional war on poverty.” Sargent Shriver headed the task force charged with drawing up the legislation, and invited Harrington to Washington as a consultant.' (Maurice Isserman in the New York Times)

The "experiments in social change" were also about social justice: see John Case and Rosemary C.R. Taylor, eds., Co-ops, Communes & Collectives: Experiments in Social Change in the 1960s and 1970s (New York: Pantheon, 1979). And Martin Luther King's interests and campaigns eventually widened to include a focus on social justice issues, not surprising given that justice is said to have been one of the three key themes (along with love and hope) of King's theology. Again, whatever its considerable shortcomings (e.g., its militancy and Sorelian infatuation with violence), the Black Panther Party demonstrated a principled exemplification of a commitment to social justice:

'Before the Black Panther Party officially disbanded in 1982...it succeeded in feeding thousands of hungry childern across the country. It first publicized and then helped to treat sickle cell anemia, a debilitating blood disease primarily afflicting blacks. Panther Free Health Clinics brought decent healthcare to thousands who were mired in poverty and unable to afford medical care.' From Curtis J. Austin's Up Against the Wall: Violence in the Making and Unmaking of the Black Panther Party (Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press, 2006).

Narcissism in some measure might be counted among the vices and virtues of the counter-cultural movements and ethos of the 1960s, but this should be distinguished from the actual values, principles and practices of the (Old or New) Left of the period.

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